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There aren’t many better places to stake your claim than at the Ryder Cup, but it’s a tough gig to break into.

With Team Europe and Team USA boasting an embarrassment of riches in recent years, the chance for rookies to come through has been limited.

It has been done, though, and the biennial match has witnessed several young players thrive on their debut.

The first official staging of the event was contested in 1927, so who is the youngest player to play in the Ryder Cup?

• European Ryder Cup qualification details

• Team USA qualification details

The youngest player to ever play in the Ryder Cup

In 1999, the record was set as the youngest player in Ryder Cup history laid down his marker, and to this day, that record still stands.

That man is Team Europe’s Sergio Garcia, who made his Ryder Cup debut in the ‘Battle of Brookline’, at just 19 years and 258 days old.

Since then, the Spaniard has built a Ryder Cup legacy as strong as any player and cemented himself as one of the match’s all-time greats.

As a rookie, Garcia entered the battle as number seven on the points list, ranked 25th on the world rankings.

Despite being the youngest, Garcia wasn’t the only rookie, as six other European players made their debuts that week in Brookline, Massachusetts.

In terms of Ryder Cup history, Garcia also boasts of having recorded the most points ever, securing 28.5 during his time wearing blue and gold.

• Who is the oldest player to play in the Ryder Cup?

• Who has the most points for Europe?

That career got off to the perfect start as a 19-year-old, as Garcia earned the joint most points on Team Europe in the 1999 Ryder Cup, claiming 3.5 points.

Garcia lost his only singles match against veteran Jim Furyk but won both foursome matches while winning one and halving one fourball match.

The Spanish ace has played in ten Ryder Cups, with an overall record of 25 wins, 13 losses, and seven halves.

After making his debut, Garcia has represented Europe in every team since, with the exception of 2010 and 2023.

Europe leads the way for drafting the youngest players in the history of the Ryder Cup, but here are both teams’ youngest players…

The youngest players to ever play in the Ryder Cup

Team Europe

Sergio Garcia: 19 years, 258 days (1999)

Nick Faldo: 20 years, 59 days (1977)

Paul Way: 20 years, 216 days (1983)

Bernard Gallacher: 20 years, 221 days (1969)

Ken Brown: 20 years, 249 days (1977)

Team USA

Horton Smith: 20 years, 339 days (1929)

Jordan Spieth: 21 years, 61 days (2014)

Tiger Woods: 21 years, 270 days (1997)

Rickie Fowler: 21 years, 292 days (2010)

Horton Smith: 23 years, 35 days (1931)

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